Service Dog Award

The PWDCA Awards Committee offers a Service Dog award as part of the title pin recognition program. This award recognizes dogs that work as valued members of the community. It will be awarded to dogs that perform Therapy work, Assistance work and to trained Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs.

Dogs earning certificates, currently working or becoming eligible after the date the program starts will receive a complimentary pin when documentation is submitted to the Awards Committee. Owners of dogs who worked in a Service capacity and are now retired or deceased may purchase pins for $5.50. Please allow 60 days for award processing.

Requirements for eligibility:

Therapy Dogs

An owner whose dog has earned an AKC ThD title will receive the pin automatically.


A Letter of Commendation is required from the facility where the dog works(worked): The letter must be on the organization’s official letterhead, and state the following information:

  1. The dog has been of value to the facility.
  2. The dog has worked a minimum of 16 hours as a Therapy Dog with patients, inmates, students or residents of the institution.
  3. The name of the certifying registry, if any. (TDI, Delta, other).
  4. If the dog is retired or deceased, the Letter of Commendation may be written by the institution or registry, stating the information listed above.
  5. Optional: A work sheet to document hours may be downloaded from the PWDCA web site. This record may be used as verification and to assist the institution when writing the commendation letter. It is not required for application.

Assistance Dogs

  • These are dogs that assist an individual owner with a disability.
  • A letter on official letterhead from the institution’s Primary Care Physician stating that the dog is an approved medical tool and has provided a needed service for the disabled handler.
  • Each dog must have passed a CGC test and provide a copy of the passing certificate.

Search and Rescue Dogs

  • Dog must be tested by an accredited National, State or local Search and Rescue evaluation team.
  • A letter or copy of the official card must be submitted, indicating that the dog has passed the test and meets the test criteria for Search and Rescue. Organization contact name, address and phone number is required.

Use this Therapy Dog Service Record to help you keep track of your progress towards this award!

Submit complete documentation to:  Verne Foster (Awards Committee) 

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